“Know your audience” is one of the most integral rallying cries of content creators. It should be both the first and last step of the creative process, informing every bit of content, style, design, and especially tone. It’s key for building credibility as the seller and inspiring empathy in the customer. We create materials for myriad audiences, and we’ve learned to adapt for our audience down to each individual word. As an example, here are three ways that we tailor our government-facing B2B sales presentations to appeal to an audience of first responders.
It’s helpful with a government audience to get right to the point. This audience most likely doesn’t care as much about the company’s industry as a whole, but rather how it applies to them. Where other sales presentations might spend more time on back story, this type should focus on the product itself and its applications for first responders. It’s often useful to include pricing and information about the contract process as well, as government spending has many specific parameters that a small business, for example, might not.
With a field as crucial as public safety, it’s important to recognize the dangerous and admirable work that first responders do. It takes more than simple recognition though. What keeps these acknowledgements from sounding like fluffy pandering is the demonstration of understanding. Proving we understand you goes a long way in terms of enhancing the credibility of the company and rounds out any simple you rock language. It’s important to build this kind of credibility and mutual understanding up front, so that the audience takes in the rest of the presentation with an open mind. We want them to think, this company wants to help me, not this company is just trying to sell me on something.
When it comes to the creation of sales materials, some of the best audience knowledge comes from the sales reps themselves. It was with this knowledge that we first began to adjust the style of our government sales presentations to be more specific to the public safety audience. These are people who are serious about their work; they might even be putting their lives at risk on a daily basis. We learned from the reps that this audience doesn’t want to see graphics; bright, cheery pops of color just don’t mesh well with the gravity of their work. They want to see photographs, not what some might call “cartoons.” Showing pictures of first responders in the field, in action, and in relatable scenarios allows the audience to picture themselves in similar situations and strike a connection with the company and the product being sold.
First responders are just one example of a niche audience. We get excited about each new audience challenge we receive, as it adds to our arsenal of experience from which we can draw from for future situations. We continue to strive to build credibility for our clients and expand the ways that we research our audience.
About Weber Associates
Weber Associates is a Columbus, OH-based consulting firm. Since 1985, we have blended the creativity of a marketing agency with the analytical rigor of a consultancy to help our clients solve real sales and marketing challenges so they can significantly grow revenues and customer loyalty.